Most Of Lafayette Square Will Reopen By Wednesday

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: The steel fence at Lafayette Park has become a makeshift memorial at 16th street after “Defund The Police” was painted on the street near the White House on June 08, 2020 in Washington, ... WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: The steel fence at Lafayette Park has become a makeshift memorial at 16th street after “Defund The Police” was painted on the street near the White House on June 08, 2020 in Washington, DC. After days of protests in DC over the death of George Floyd, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has renamed that section of 16th street "Black Lives Matter Plaza". (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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June 9, 2020 11:37 a.m.

The National Park Service will remove most of the tall fencing surrounding Lafayette Square by Wednesday, according to a Washington Post report on Tuesday.

Early last week, Lafayette Square was closed off to the public shortly after federal police forcibly removed peaceful protesters right outside the White House ahead of President Trump’s surprise photo-op in front of nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church.

The fencing has become a makeshift memorial paying tribute to George Floyd as protests in the wake of his death continue. Protesters plastered the fencing with posters, names and paintings of black people who died from police brutality.

A National Park Service spokesperson told the Post that fencing will stay in place in areas that suffered damage during protests and areas that pose safety hazard risks. The agency did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.

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The National Park Service’s removal of the fencing surrounding Lafayette Square comes on the heels of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) demanding in a letter to the President on Monday to “immediately reopen” Lafayette Square. In the letter, Pelosi and Schumer called Trump out for the “deeply offensive action” of using tear gas on protesters to make way for his “regrettable political stunt” in front of the church that same evening.

On Sunday, Trump announced that the National Guard will begin withdrawing from Washington, D.C., claiming that “everything is under perfect control.” The President issued his announcement after his fiery spat with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser over the weekend for her request to withdraw “all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence” from the district.

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